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How to administer Baytril to my Eastern long-necked turtle?

Discussion in 'Common Health Problems, Injuries and Treatments' started by JAMES1961, Dec 7, 2017 at 11:26 AM.

  1. JAMES1961

    JAMES1961 Egg

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    Hi,
    I saw the vet who gave me Baytril to orally give my turtle every 2 days (dosage is 2mls each time).
    His front left foot is swollen and the vet tried to extract as much pus from his foot as possible.

    He told me to inject (into his mouth) the Baytril.
    Question, how do I do that, especially as he stays into his shell and it's very hard to get his head to come out of his shell to administer the Baytril?

    Any thoughts???

    Thanks all.
     
  2. Craig

    Craig Founding Member/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Hi James, what you should do is either get a crop needle that goes on the end of the syringe or get some small aquarium tubing from a pet shop. Then go to a chemist and ask for a syringe that the tube will fit onto the end of the syringe tightly. You may need to go to a vet if you cannot get a large enough syringe. Also purchase a needle that will fit the syringe so that you can draw the right amount of Baytril up into the syringe with.

    The easiest way to get a turtle to put its head out is to put it into the water, then quickly grab its neck so that it cannot curl its head back under its shell. Once the neck is held securely use a plectrum/guitar pick to open the mouth. The plectrum needs to be a thick one, not a thin flexible one.

    This whole process is quite easy to do by yourself once you know how and are experienced doing it.
    You will probably need another set of hands to hold the turtle upright and to assist with holding the turtle's neck the first couple of times you do this. I have done this dozens of times and can do it by myself.

    Once the turtle's mouth is open insert the syringe (with Baytril in it and the tube or crop needle tightly on the end of the syringe) past the turtle's tongue as this is where the turtle's airway is located (see the photo below) and you don't want it going into the turtle's lungs.

    This should be done with the turtle's head and shell upright with its neck straight upwards so gravity assists with the antibiotic to go down into the turtle's stomach. The turtle may try to regurgitate this out through its nostrils or sometimes through nits mouth. I usually assist the swallowing process by gently squeezing the throat and pull my hand down to the shell then release my hand and quickly start at the top of the neck again until the Baytril has been forced all the way down the throat.

    I have to say that I applaud your vet for telling you to administer Baytril orally as it is meant to be administered and NOT by injection.
    Baytril injections are very painful for turtles and have been known to kill small turtles or stunt their growth by preventing cartilage from turning into bone, thus inhibiting growth.

    Below is a photo showing a turtle's airway with the valve on it that closes when under water. You need to make sure that the tube or crop needle is well past this airway valve before squirting the Baytril down its throat.
    Turtle tongue 3.jpg

    Crop Needles
    crop needle.jpg
     
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  3. JAMES1961

    JAMES1961 Egg

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  4. Craig

    Craig Founding Member/Administrator/Public Officer
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    I am in the Sutherland Shire and can show you how to do it the first time if you need?
     
  5. JAMES1961

    JAMES1961 Egg

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    Craig, just a thought... Can I mix the Baytril with his food as another way for him to have the medicine?
    I live out near Blacktown.
     
  6. Craig

    Craig Founding Member/Administrator/Public Officer
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    Hi James, no you can't mix it with food because turtles can only eat in water so the Baytril will be diluted by the water.
    What you can do is inject the Baytril into a small fish or small silkworm that your turtle can swallow whole. Then feed it to him using tongs making sure that he eats it.